Tumby Bay in South Australia is the latest country town to see its Viterra silos come alive, attracting more tourism and reinvigorating the local community.
Highly-regarded Argentinian artist Martin Ron spent a month in the coastal Eyre Peninsula town painting a mural of two boys jetty jumping. It was officially opened in April and a centrepiece of the town’s ‘Colour Tumby’ arts initiative.
Dion LeBrun, local grain grower and Chair of the Tumby Bay Progress Association, said the benefits to the town had been enormous. “The growth we have seen in visitor numbers and our exposure to the world has been bigger than we ever thought – it’s been absolutely massive,” Dion said.
The Tumby Bay community is ecstatic about its new silo art. “Our cafes are saying they are so much busier. More than 300 visitors signed the book in the first month and we know there are plenty of others who visited and didn’t leave their names.
“It’s a huge credit to Viterra for allowing the community to use their silos in this way – after all it is a working grain facility which creates some challenges. “Our image had an extra level of complexity in that the people were painted horizontally across the silos rather than vertically, which is a credit to Martin Ron who is absolutely brilliant.”
As an internationally-renowned artist, Martin moves around the world accepting commissions. His next project after Tumby Bay was in Moscow painting a mural inspired by Dion’s 10-year-old son Harry, for the World Cup.
“That’s been pretty exciting for us all – it’s helped get Tumby Bay to the world,” Dion said. “Martin had a great time here and quite a few of the locals looked after him with some good old fashioned country hospitality!”